ABC is airing a new legal drama, Eli Stone, on January 31st. Lawyer Eli Stone (according to the January 23rd New York Times is a lawyer who begins “having visions that cause him to question his life’s work defending large corporations, including a pharmaceutical company that makes vaccines.”
Yes, in the first episode of Eli Stone the former Pharma now “fights for the underdog” lawyer sues his old client on behalf of a mother who believes that, yes, her son became autistic from a vaccine containing the mercury-based preservative thimerasol, which is instead referred to as “mercuritol.” Here’s the script for the first episode:
The initial episode of “Eli Stone” posits that the child received a flu vaccine containing the preservative; in recent years vaccine makers have produced new versions of the flu vaccine for children that do not contain the mercury-based preservative.
“Is there proof that mercuritol causes autism?,” Eli Stone says to the jury in summing up his lawsuit against the vaccine maker. “Yes,” he says. “Is that proof direct or incontrovertible proof? No. But ask yourself if you’ve ever believed in anything or anyone without absolute proof.”
The script also draws a parallel with research linking smoking and cancer, saying three decades passed between the first lawsuit charging a connection and the first jury award against a tobacco company. After the dramatic courtroom revelation that the chief executive of the vaccine maker did not allow his daughter’s pediatrician to give her the company’s vaccine, the jury in “Eli Stone” awards the mother $5.2 million. (In each episode Eli Stone takes on a different cause; in other episodes sent to television reviewers for preview, he wages court battles against a pesticide maker and a priest.)
Since mercuritol is a made-up substance, I think I can say, with incontrovertible proof, that mercuritol does not cause autism. (Neither does thimerasol, while we’re at it, though I’m sure some are going to be issuing dire warnings about the mercury levels in tuna sushi.) But since we know that proponents of the hypothesis that something in vaccines causes autism or that autism is mercury poisoning are prone to conspiratorial imaginings, who knows what new hypothesis about the causes of autism we’ll soon be reading after January 31st.
But maybe now people will see why we don’t need to make a movie of Evidence of Harm.